First things first – What is a logo?
The reason to start with this point is that even though there should be a universal understanding of what a logo is (or isn’t) there is no widely accepted definition. We have previously outlined the 7 different types of logo but for this article, we would agree with the Wikipedia description of:
A logo (abbreviation of logotype; from Ancient Greek λόγος (lógos) ‘word, speech’, and τύπος (túpos) ‘mark, imprint’) is a graphic mark, emblem, or symbol used to aid and promote public identification and recognition. It may be of an abstract or figurative design or include the text of the name it represents as in a wordmark.
The importance of logos in modern-day marketing is inarguable, with them being the most highly recognisable element of any brand from entrepreneurial start-ups to globally recognised businesses. This most high-profile element of any brand means that the creation and development of your logo must be robust and comprehensive.
As with most design projects, the best place to start is with a thorough and deep discussion of the client’s vision and goals for the logo. Talking through the requirement is an excellent opportunity to challenge some of the requirements and discuss various options which may not have been considered. As well as rigorously challenging the requirements there are fundamental details to be gathered including, but not limited to, information about the company, target audience, and competitors. For the designer, it is the ideal time to outline exactly how they will approach the project, describe the various stages and what they mean in terms of schedule and cost.
Design Concept Phase
Once all the relevant information has been obtained it is time to start creating some rough initial drafts to establish what type of logo is required with considerations on the scale, shape, and basic colours. From these very simple drafts, potentially still in rough sketch form, it is easy to refine and agree on the basic parameters for ongoing developments. If conversations cannot take place at this stage, then the designer may need to provide partially developed concepts for 1st review and discussion.
Whichever route the major objective is to agree on the fundamental design needs and not focus on the detail which can be refined and agreed upon later in the process. As long as an agreement is gained on how to develop the logo further with considered directions on colour palette and typography is achieved, the project can proceed to the next stage of development.
If the earlier stages have been completed, then this phase should be allowed to focus purely on the refinement of the chosen logo concept and not revisiting initial requirements. If the fundamentals are called into question, then the refinement phase needs to be put on hold until they can be addressed. Only once these are resolved should the refinement phase be restarted, and the possible variations and alternatives explored. This is an opportunity to truly test a logos flexibility and find out what is possible and what is too much.
By the end of the refinement phase, the client should feel that they have exhausted the potential variants and are 100% confident and committed to the design that needs to be finalised.
Once a logo has been rigorously challenged, developed, and refined it is now time to finalise the design and provide it to the client in a range of different formats and sizes for use in different circumstances. Logos can be provided that are suitable for black and white use only, for use on a dark or light background, on a letterhead or a billboard poster. Some specialist applications may require specific artwork, for example, if the logo is to be embroidered on clothes or applied to 3D signage. The range of ways that a single logo can be applied highlights the need for comprehensive and detailed branding guidelines.
A professionally created set of branding guidelines will ensure a consistent and correct application of the logo whatever the size, format, or surface. Brand integrity is very easy to establish and maintain in this way and is a lot more achievable than trying to re-establish it once it has gone.
The process outlined above should be the process that you should expect from any design agency as it covers the fundamental stages that any logo project should go through. However, all design agencies do not work in the same way or have the same processes, so as part of your initial discussion (Phase 1) it is important to establish exactly what their process is and what are the various stages as they see them. Recap of the logo design process and what to expect during each phase.
Whatever the stages or phases are the one thing that should stay consistent is the dedication to open and honest communication between you and the designer working on the project. A collaborative approach is the only way to achieve the very best outcome possible.
Talk to Toast today
Whatever your logo requirement is, it all begins with a quick chat with one of our designers. They will be able to outline the best possible route and explain how we can help. If you are interested in how then call us on 01295266644 and speak to one of our team.